Marja Lankinen is the founder and CEO of Yoga for Dancers and teaches yoga and meditation in the United States and around the globe. She is also a staff writer for LA YOGA Magazine.
As a professional dancer, Marja danced for Beyonce, Oprah, the Billboard Awards, the Grammys (national commercial), Frank Gatson, Laurieann Gibson, Twista, and the Lumineers. Marja has been on international tour in Asia, was a three year company member of Boom!Crack Dance Company in residency with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and was the Executive Director of Dance2XS Dance Company in Michigan. Marja moved to LA from Shanghai the summer of 2012 to teach and dance.
A credentialed yoga therapist, Marja Lankinen graduated from Loyola Marymount University's Yoga Therapy Rx program. She also holds a five hundred hour certification though Annie Carpenter's SmartFlow Yoga. A lifelong student, Marja continued her education with Dr. Eden Goldman's Soft Tissue Assessment and Myofascial Release for Bodyworkers and Yoga Teachers workshop, MOTI Physical Therapy's Sugarfoot Therapy training with Dr. Traci Ferguson and Katie Schaar Cutri, YogaWorks Yoga for Trauma teacher training with Hala Khouri and Kyra Haglund, YogaWorks Yoga Tune Up Training with Laurel Beversdorf and Elizabeth Wipff, Healer Training I-IV with David Elliot, Reiki I, II, and Reiki Master Training with Racquel Tristan, biomechanics with Jules Mitchell, and Power, Yin Yoga and Hot Power Fusion with Corepower Yoga. For continued edification, Marja shadows physical therapist, Karen Moran (Fusion Arts Physical Therapy, Encino), Paula Gelbart Sauer (Align Physical Therapy, Larchmont), and Miguel Almario (Myodetox, West Hollywood) while pursuing prerequisites toward a doctorate in Physical Therapy. Tangential yet part of the narrative arc, Marja is a Master's in English prospective student at Harvard University.
Marja teaches Yoga for Dancers for the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio's scholarship program, Movement Lifestyle Dance Studio, and Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles, CA.
She also teaches yoga and meditation at 20th Century FOX, Disney, YogaWorks, Hot 8 Yoga Beverly Hills, and Paramount Studios. Marja was on faculty at Edge Performing Arts Center and has taught at Sony Motion Pictures Studios, NBC Universal, ESPN, UCLA, Viacom (Hollywood), and Universal Music Group (Santa Monica).
Marja guest taught for Complexions Contemporary Ballet (2018) and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's (2016-2018) summer intensives at USC Kaufman School of Dance. In 2017, Marja flew to Gothenburg, Sweden to teach for Gothenburg Opera Dance Company. She also taught for ISY Studio (Hamburg, Germany), Shala Helsinki (Finland), and lululemon Paris, Cannes, Zurich, London, Amsterdam, New York, Atlanta, and Chicago. Marja taught for Coachella Music and Arts Festival (Indio), The Pulse On Tour (Scottsdale, AZ), Velocity Dance Convention (Orange County, CA), USC Trojan Force Dance Team, Kreativ Mindz Academy, Tony Tzar's Blacklight Society, Kaba Modern Dance Company, Culture Shock LA, Mischief Makers, USC, UCLA, and Chapman University dance departments, Diavolo Dance Company, Jacob Jonas Dance Company, Full Out Dance Studio's Unplugged Dance Retreat (2017-2018), Dogpatch Dance Studio (San Francisco), and Matt Cady and Tovaris Wilson's Unique Dance Program (2017).
Marja mentors rising dancers, choreographers, artists, and kind human beings through the Movement Lifestyle Dance Studio Work Study program. She deeply believes in empowering the next generations of vanguards, voices, and vehicles for social, artistic, and political change.
YOGA FOR ATHLETES:
Marja was the in-residency yoga instructor for the United States Tennis Association teaching yoga and therapeutics for the US team's professional and junior tennis players at Stubhub in Carson, CA.
Marja co-led the 200 hour Hot 8 Yoga Teacher Trainings in Beverly Hills from 2014-2017 and assisted the 200 hour Power training with Corepower Yoga Sherman Oaks in 2013. Marja assisted Annie Carpenter's 200 hour SmartFlow Yoga teacher training in Oakland, California (2016) and at Udaya Yoga Festival in Bulgaria (2017).
Along with Omar Lopez, Marja co-led Hot 8 Yoga's first yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico in 2014.